Thursday, 18 January 2007

The Legacy Continues…

For as far as my memory takes me, there is one thing that has never changed in my life. Over the several years, it has instilled the same feeling of belongingness in me as it had many years back. It is what I fondly refer to as ‘my home in Kerala’ – ‘ANAND’.

My first home after my birth, it was here that I spent my first few months as a tiny infant. Dolled up and laid in a copper ancestral cradle, I was christened, amidst much joy and fest. Right from my mother’s last few months as an expectant mom, to a stage when I was old enough to hold my head straight, this home saw a phase of ‘babyness’. Lots of sleepless nights, when the silence of the dark, would first be cracked by baby cry which would be gently hushed by lullaby by the patient but sleepy mother, aunt or grandma on duty!; lots of visitors, to have a glimpse of the ‘new member of the family’ and to make comments like, ‘Oh, she looks just like her father’, ‘Her nose is just like her mother’ and the like. Baby food, baby clothes, baby toys all over and just the baby feel hung in the air of ‘ANAND’ for this entire period. I must clarify at this point; this home has witnessed several births before mine.

Each time, it’s just the same. Lot of happiness is written all over each face of the household to play host to the ‘event’, whatever the ‘event’ maybe… Wedding, Baby Shower, Birth, Christening … whatever. The house always has enough place and more for any number of guests. Things never run out of stock and people never get bored.

I recollect with nostalgia, those summer vacations during my school days. Summer holidays spelt ‘Kerala’ for us, cousins. It was the time for our annual meet up and the venue? ‘ANAND’ of course! My uncle and aunt, dear to all and like ‘God Parents’ to each one of us would have all types of entertainment ready to keep their nieces and nephews occupied throughout the summer. Delicious meals are cooked, trips are made, notes exchanged….and LOTS of memories are created. Hide and Seek, Shuttle, Carrom, Cards, ‘Let’s Pretend’, Mimicry…. The list is endless.

Every single time, just instances after the door bell is rung, (the arrival…be it at any hour of the day!) excited snuffs can be heard on the other side of the door, where an impatient, extremely friendly, huge, cuddly dog, our dear ‘Bushy’ waits for the door to be opened to happily greet the visiting members. The very wagy tail goes around bobbing behind him, slapping everyone on its way. This warm welcome is reserved exclusively for members of the household. Outsiders… beware! The gimmicks carried out by this funny fellow, amuses us all thoroughly and he has a special place in every one of our hearts. The earlier four legged companion of the family was ‘Bikki’ who was equally loved by all and is deeply missed too.

How can the household be complete without ‘Leela’!!? Our domestic help for over a decade and a half and also a fellow Konkani, she is more like a family member to us than an outsider. The long thrilling family excursion we made, on boats, to her house a few years back, is an adventure which would not be erased away from our memory for years to come.

Today, I sit back and relive my recent and latest visit to ‘ANAND’. My eldest cousin sister had a baby boy! The little prince announced his most awaited arrival into the world hardly a month back and proudly triggered the count of the 4th generation.

After 22 years, the cradle was decorated again and occupied by a beautiful baby. The fussing over of the new infant was quite a measure more this time than before, thanks to the large number of aunts and uncles to pamper their only darling nephew.
Nothing has changed at ‘ANAND’ till date. And my excitement at the thought of visiting ‘my home in Kerala’ will never die down… each time the joy of reunion is plentiful… each time, new memories are created and old ones are relived… and each time the farewell bid is half hearted…
The legacy of ‘ANAND’ continues…


  1. I happened to stumble upon ur blog...and thought would spend a minute to read on...This reminds so much of my ancestral home in Kannur where we had a joint family of 5 brothers and their of the brothers being my Dad....we had this huge famliy of more than 20 members living in the same house with my grandparents.....After my grandparents passed away all have built their own house in the same compound.I guess that was the way forward of being "HAPPY"..??But still the good old house stands in the middle of all other houses and generates this great aura in compound....I just love visiting the house which often reminds of all the good times I spent with my grandparents and my cousins during my childhood.....And each year during Ganesh chathurthi all of us come together in this house and celebrate it with great joy.Its still the hang out place for me and all my cousins whenever we come and visit home from our respective city of work or study...In a way the legacy continues....hope it ever does...

  2. Such a nice post.May God Bless the baby boy.He is sooooo cute.

  3. Thanku Seema. That cute little boy is 5 years old now :)

  4. A real torrent of memories - lovely!

  5. @specs_buffy - Thanku very much :)

  6. Dear Nandita,
    Just read your beautiful article "The Legacy Continues.."Enjoyed it so much.Your words evoked such poignant memories.We too would visit Kerala every summer and had the exact same experiences that you did, except that instead of Anand it was Shankaraserry House or Pinnakanagar as it was also called.You have been blessed with the art of writing and you do it so beautifully, so keep on writing. BTW I also love your recipes and will definitely give them a try.

  7. Hi there Sheela. Thanks a lot for your nice words. Would love to hear from you again :)